Which are Top 20 Protein Rich Foods for Vegetarians ?

by Medha Singh
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Which are Top 20 Protein-Rich Foods for Vegetarians? Everybody is required to fulfill their nutritional need in order to function properly. Out of all nutritional elements, protein is one of the most important element.

We need protein for-

  1. Maintaining and increasing muscle mass and strength
  2. Increasing bone health
  3. Reducing untimely cravings
  4. Accelerating fat burning while boosting our metabolism
  5. Maintaining weight loss
  6. Making sure your cell repairs itself after injury
  7. Maintaining blood pressure
  8. Helping you become an example of “aging like fine wine”

Basically, protein is one of the most important nutritional components we need in our daily life. But how do we decide our daily protein intake?

How much protein do you need?

According to DRI( Dietary Reference Intake), our body needs around 0.8 gram of protein per kg of body weight. Places equal to approx 56gms/day for average sedentary man, 46gms/day for average sedentary women. However, the amount of protein intake depends on many factors, including their activity level, muscle mass, age, physique goals, etc.

20 plant source protein-rich food:

Now we know why and how much amount of protein we need. Next thing one would want to know is a food source for protein. There is a large number of people who are all choosing to become vegetarians. And since protein food source for vegetarian is quite less in number, let’s go through the list of top 20 protein-rich food source for vegetarians.

  1. Lentils:

being an Indian, it won’t be fair to talk about protein source and not talk about lentils (dal). It’s one of the most adaptable and nutritious ingredients in the kitchen. They are a type of legumes and there are around 8 types of lentils in our country.

They are considered one of the world’s best plant-based protein. It’s an excellent source of protein for vegans and vegetarians. Not only they are rich in protein, but they are also high in iron, fiber, magnesium, folate, copper, potassium, etc.

1 cup (198gm) of boiled lentils contains 230 calories with 18 grams of protein.

  1. Pumpkin seeds:

These edible seeds of pumpkin are quite high in zinc, iron, and magnesium. They can be eaten alone or you can add them to your dishes for extra taste and crunch. You can make granola at your home with pumpkin seeds, dried fruits, and nuts.

1 ounce (28gm) after pumpkin seeds have 125 calories with 5 gram of protein in it.

  1. Beans:

Rich in fiber, they also have a good amount of protein in them. There are around 6-8 types of beans found in India. you can add these inexpensive ingredients to your salads, soups, vegetable, etc.

½ cup cooked beans have 8 gram of protein in them.

  1. Peanut butter:

They are made from peanuts and are rich in protein, fiber, and fat. Not only there that with nutrition, but they are also very delicious. You can try them on toast, blend name into smoothies or make a peanut sauce.

2 tablespoon of peanut butter can give you 7 grams of protein.

[TIP: it taste really good, but don’t consume more than 2 tablespoons a day is not very easy to digest and aid in increasing your weight.]

  1. Almonds:

Like peanuts, there are also called a rich source of fiber, fat, and protein. You can also make almond butter, add them in your salad, or grab a handful of them as your snack.

1 ounce (28gm) almonds give you 6 gram of protein.

  1. Eggs:

Eggs are possibly one of the most nutritious and healthiest food, especially for vegetarians. they are loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and obviously protein.

1 large egg can give you 6 gram of protein.

  1. Greek yogurt:

This is a very thick type of yogurt and also known as a Strained yogurt. It has a creamy texture and taste very delicious. You can add them to smoothies, layer your fruit and granola for extra taste, or use them as dips.

It has 23 grams of protein per cup.

  1. Chia seeds:

Please, nutrient-dense small seed tastes real good. They are a great source for Omega 3 and protein. You can make their smoothie which tastes delicious.

1 tablespoon of Chia seeds delivers you 3 gram of protein.

  1. Quinoa:

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Quinoa is also termed as one of the “superfood”  because of its unique combination of all nine essential amino acids. This means you get all types of protein in one food. Also, quinoa is rich in phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, folate, iron, and thiamine. And as if this wasn’t good enough, it is also gluten-free.

You get 8 grams of protein per cooked cup of quinoa.

  1. Cottage cheese:

Cottage cheese is high in sodium as to Greek yogurt. However, it is quite low in fat and calories.

You can use it as dips or sweeten it up with fruits.

A cup of cottage cheese gives you around 27 grams of protein.

  1. Milk:

Only if you can tolerate milk, it’s the great source of high-quality protein. And not only protein, but milk is also an excellent source of calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin B2.

1 cup of whole milk will provide you 8 grams of protein.

  1. Broccoli:

This veggie is loaded with Vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium & fiber. Compared to other vegetables, it provides you a high amount of protein. It is also a rich source of bioactive nutrients which can prevent cancer.

You get 3 grams of protein in 1 cup of chopped broccoli.

  1. Ezekiel bread:

This bread is made out of sprouted whole grains, and legumes like millet, barley, wheat, soybeans, etc.

Because of these mixed ingredients, Ezekiel bread provides you a very good amount of protein.

1 slice of bread contains 4 grams of protein.

  1. Green peas:

This delicious food is a less popular source of protein. You can incorporate them in your regular diet as a side dish, or you can add them in your salad.

It provides you 8 grams of protein per cup.

  1. Hemp seeds:

Apart from being a good source of protein, these seeds have a decent amount of iron, magnesium, calcium, zinc, and selenium. It’s also a good source of Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

1 ounce (28grams) of hemp seeds provide you 10 grams of protein.

  1. Soy milk:

Soy milk is made from soybeans and can be a great replacement for those who’re lactose intolerant. Apart from being a great source of protein, soy milk is an excellent source of vitamin D, vitamin B12, and calcium.

You get 7 grams of protein per cup of soy milk.

  1. Tofu and Edamame:

This food also has originated from soybeans. Edamame is nothing but immature soybeans with sweet & greasy taste to it. On the other hand, tofu is made from bean curd similar to cheese making, it doesn’t have any taste of its own.

They provide you 10-19 grams of protein per 100gm.

  1. Nutritional yeast:

They’re deactivated strain of yeast, sold as yellow powders or flakes. They can be enjoyed as toppings on popcorn or sprinkled on the top of pasta.

Fortified nutritional yeast is a complete plant source high-quality protein, and a great source of zinc, magnesium, copper, all the B vitamins, etc.

One ounce (28 grams) of nutritional yeast provides you 14 grams of protein.

  1. Spirulina:

It’s an in the color of blue-green which contains most of the nutrients we need in everyday life. It has anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties. It contains magnesium, manganese, potassium, vitamin B12, and other nutrients.

2tbsp (30ml) of spirulina provides you 8 grams of complete protein.

  1. Oats:

One of the easiest and delicious way to get protein in your everyday busy schedule. Although it’s not a source of complete protein, definitely a source of high-quality protein. It also contains a good amount of magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, and folate

Half a cup (120 ml) of dry oats gives you approx 6 grams of protein.

Now that you have the list of top 20 plants based protein-rich food, go ahead and incorporate them in your diet. Share your recipes & experience with these food items in the comment section below. We’d love to hear from you!

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